Thursday, 6 April 2017

The End of an Era

For the last few years, there has been the annual threat of closing, and then a reprieve, and the local Country Market was able to open for business for yet another year. But this time, the closing is real, and the demolition machines have started their sad work. The fences are up. The parking lot is empty. The property was sold 11 years ago and a developer is finally moving in. More houses will be built. Progress?

The Market's been operating for 64 years. It started as a livestock auction arena, Saturdays only, complete with auction ring and stockyards at the back. Farmers came from all around the area to get a good price for their pigs, cows and horses. It was a great morning's entertainment to listen to the auctioneer and watch the proceedings. I've posted about the Market here.
Over the years as the town grew, the livestock auction business declined, and the market was taken over by fruit and vegetable sellers, and of course, sellers of all manner of goods, including second hand and "junque". Along with apples and cabbages and honey and eggs, live rabbits and poultry intended for food were sold here, which often resulted in angry skirmishes between the stall holders and the anti-cruelty to animals people and animal rights activists, and subsequent visits from the local SPCA.
The old ramshackle auction buildings were taken down and new ones built to accommodate the new vendors. The Market opened on Sundays as well as Saturdays, rain or shine. There was a Mennonite butcher shop that sold delicious sausage and jars of the hottest horseradish you have ever tasted. There were businesses that sold chocolate, furniture, sports equipment, electronics, musical instruments, T-shirts, wood carvings, shoes, cosmetics, books, dog food, mini-donuts, just about anything. There was even a man who sold budgies and parrots and lovebirds a few years ago.
Cars had to negotiate the only road through town to get to the Market, and weekend traffic jams on Main Street were a weekly occurrence. But flea markets or farmers markets don't make as much profit as development for houses, and there will no longer be an outdoor market in our town. Even though I didn't spend money there every week, I enjoyed wandering around the stalls looking for a bargain. I'm sad to see it go. Definitely the end of an era.

12 comments:

Marie Smith said...

Progress! I fear we are losing a way of life!

Elephant's Child said...

Progress it is. In the wrong direction. I would much prefer markets to yet more little boxes...

Revrunner said...

Something very sad about that "A".

Wendy said...

Oh, I hate that! When "institutions" (history actually) are destroyed in the name of Progress! We lose something valuable. And I agree with Elephant's Child. I would much prefer local markets to those impersonal and cash hungry Big Boxes. :-(

Lowell said...

No, this isn't progress, it's a bunch of crap and the only ones who benefit are the builders who rake in big bucks and the politicians who let them do it for a price!

madretz said...

Very sad to see any local history wiped out by a big bulldozer.

Angela said...

Population growth, it's a good thing and it's a bad thing. They need to make houses for people and more and more land used to place housing. Sad to see fast growth I must say.

troutbirder said...

Just one more thing lost that make small town special. Ours is a local bakery just about the only one left in the surrounding towns...:(

The Blog Fodder said...

We seem to have a choice between urban sprawl with everyone having their own separate home or else stacking a thousand people on top of each other. Housing always takes market priority however if there is a demand for an outdoor market I am sure that space can be found by your city council, even for once a week.
Western Canada used to have little livestock auction markets in every small town. Almost all of them have disappeared in favour of larger markets which attract more cattle and therefore more buyers.

Lowell said...

Hi again. Re your comment on Ocala: The Villages has something like 80,000 golf cars (they call them golf cars because so many of them run on gas) and they can drive on most of the roads in The Villages if they have the proper equipment, such as lights and turn signals and the ability to go at least 35 mph. But they can't run on road or highways outside of the Villages.

Pat Tillett said...

If that is progress, then I HATE progress. I cringe whenever I hear the word "developer." If it was up to them, every bit of history (like this place) would be torn down, and every bit of vacant land would have a building, or a house on it.

I followed the link you gave. Even if it isn't what it used to be, it's still much better than houses, or a strip mall, or a parking lot.

Sheila said...

I hadn't realized this was gone, probably as its been some years since I last visited. At that time I bought a pair of art deco style wooden book ends. I recently did some de cluttering and donated them to the charity shop. I'm still second guessing myself as I really liked them!